Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

One of my very favorite combinations is chocolate & banana.  My mom used to make us a scrumptious chocolate adaptation of old-fashioned banana pudding.  Instead of using banana pudding and vanilla wafers, she would use chocolate pudding and chocolate wafers with sliced bananas and that combination was oh so yummy!  That was the inspiration for this dessert...thanks mom!  When I was trying to think up recipes to teach at my Desserts Cooking Class last week, I chose this pie because of its versatility and because it just happens to have every quality I desire in a dessert---chocolate, rich, and creamy!

1-9 oz sleeve chocolate wafer cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, small pcs
¼ C cornstarch
¼ t salt
½ C + 2 T sugar
3 C whole milk
4 egg yolks
3 bananas
1 C heavy cream
Cocoa for dusting

Heat oven to 375. 

In food processor, pulse chocolate cookies to fine crumbs.  Add butter & pulse to combine.  Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-in pie plate.  Bake until crust is set and fragrant, 10-12 min.  (When I made this pie for my desserts class, my store was out of chocolate wafers so I just used 1/2 box of chocolate grahm crackers and this worked out wonderfully.)

Meanwhile, melt chocolate over double boiler or you can use the microwave.  There should be melting directions on the package.  (In our desserts class, we actually added 2 T peanut butter to make a chocolate-peanut butter-banna pie...oh yeah I know it sounds evil and it tastes like a sin too!)  ;-)

In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, salt, and ½ C sugar.  Add milk, and whisk until fully incorporated.  Now whisk in egg yolks over medium-low, whisking often, bringing mixture to a simmer; this will take about 15 min.  Once it comes to a simmer whisk continuously until it thickens; about 2 min more.  Remove from heat & whisk in chocolate until fully incorporated.  (This is the point where the versatility of this pie comes into play.  You can make this pie any flavor.  You could add a fruit puree to make it a fruit pudding or just vanilla extract to make it vanilla pudding or butterscotch or peanut butter chips instead of chocolate.  The possibilities are endless! One of my friends in the desserts class made vanilla pudding and used it for strawberry shortcakes for her daughter's graduation party...sounds scrumptious!  Check out the pic below.)

Pour half of the chocolate pudding into the crust.  Cut bananas in half lengthwise and arrange them cut side down across the pie.  Top with remaining pudding.  Place plastic wrap directly onto surface.  My set up very quickly and was ready after a couple of hours, but this could take 4 hours up to 1 day to set. 

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